Quality of Life of Adult Survivors After Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO): A Quantitative Study

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Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) is a technique used in the treatment of patients with severe respiratory failure. A lot of studies in the literature investigated the survival rate of patients treated with ECMO, but few are those that assess the long-term outcomes and the quality of life (QoL) of survivors.

Materials and Methods:

A retrospective observational study with prospective QoL assessment through administration of the questionnaire EuroQol-5 Dimension was conducted in acute respiratory distress syndrome patients who h ad ECMO as a rescue therapy for reversible refractory hypoxemia from January 2013 until December 2015 in an Italian referral ECMO center.


Forty patients were enrolled, but the telephone interview was possible only in 17. The interviewed patients presented a reduction in QoL in the items concerning pain (59%), followed by problems regarding mobility (47%) and anxiety (47%). The patients' perceived QoL, showed in a 0 to100 scale (0 being the worst, 100 being the best value), is of 75% (interquartile range, 70-80).


The problems found are in agreement with the literature about this particular type of patients.


Most ECMO patients have good physical and social functioning after hospital discharge.

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